LFWM: Vivienne Westwood SS18

THERE are few designers on the roster at London Fashion Week Men’s whose name is globally recognisable – in fact, Vivienne Westwood is quite possibly the only one. This being as it may, Dame Vivienne Westwood’s shows have long been some of the most highly anticipated on the London schedule, attracting editors and celebrities alike, and this season was no different.

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Held in Marylebone’s Seymour Leisure Centre, the show revolved around four main symbols – VW’s own pack of playing cards. These motifs, emblazoned on the garments, appeared in various forms throughout the collection. As Westwood says in the note written to guests, “we will begin with natural white covered with rainforest print”, a sort of Picasso-esque scribble seen on much of the collection.

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Bodysuits, full-skirted dresses and even apron’s appeared, in a show that can only really be described as exactly that, a show. The monotony of fashion week, the one-after-another beat of the four-day event, can become tiresome after a while.

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Luckily, on day four, Westwood chose to break this – acrobats, dancers and circus performers tumbled, cartwheeled, hula-hooped and even fell down the catwalk, much to the chagrin/amusement of stony-faced models trying their very best to get past, while remaining suitably stoic.

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It highlights something that Westwood is now synonymous with. That, perhaps, her wildly audacious and wonderfully creative clothing is not a viable means for supporting the business. Indeed, virtually nothing sported down the runway would be considered wearable, best confined to the pages of outré magazine editorials. The bags then were important – large, sturdy and industrial, just what ever travelling circus artist needs.

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It was typically Vivienne, and as the Dame herself took her final bow, the excitement and pure palpable energy in the air was electrified. VW is a showwoman, dealing in the trade of shocking and delighting, and a fabulously experienced one at that. May that never change.

by Thomas Marrington

Images courtesy of Vivienne Westwood